A Southside man has told of his anguish after losing two family members to cancer.

David Fitzpatrick's mother and brother died within 15 months of each other from pancreatic cancer.

David said: "I lost both my mother and brother to pancreatic cancer because Doctors missed the signs.

"I don’t want another family to have to go through what we went through.”

Glasgow Times:

His mother, Patricia, first developed symptoms including stomach problems, indigestion, and diarrhoea.

At first, Doctors thought she had gynaecological issues.

Eventually, her symptoms worsened and she went to Accident and Emergency where she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011 and died one month later.

Glasgow Times: Patricia with Paul’s daughter as a babyPatricia with Paul’s daughter as a baby (Image: Patricia with Paul’s daughter as a baby)

Meanwhile, David's brother Paul began to experience some stomach problems and serious back pain which he thought was a popped rib.

He was sent for an x-ray which came back clear before doctors explored the possibility of removing his gallbladder.

More symptoms followed including itchy skin and yellowing eyes.

Paul was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just 15 months after his mother died of the same disease. He died just two years later in 2014.

David Fitzpatrick said: “I only wish our GP and the doctors in the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow had more knowledge of pancreatic cancer whilst treating my mother and brother. 

“After finally being diagnosed, my brother received the Whipple operation and chemotherapy but sadly the cancer remained.

"He was sent home to die on his wife’s 55th birthday. He walked his eldest daughter down the aisle six weeks later and died two weeks after that.

"Our entire family is devastated. He and Mum are missed by our whole family every day.”

Since losing his Mum and brother, David Fitzpatrick and his family have raised over £45,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Action.

Glasgow Times: Paul with his wife and daughter on her wedding dayPaul with his wife and daughter on her wedding day (Image: David Fitzpatrick)

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest of all common cancers, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 8%.

Every year in Scotland, over 900 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Only 10% of patients in the UK are diagnosed in time for life-saving surgery. 

For Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (1st-30th November), leading charity Pancreatic Cancer Action has launched their #MISSED campaign to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer symptoms to improve the statistics around missed diagnoses.

Research has shown that many symptoms are missed, with patients visiting their GP an average of four times before being diagnosed.

Joe Kirwin, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action said: “Our PCAM campaign #MISSED was developed to raise awareness of all the missed pancreatic cancer diagnoses that have had huge, irrevocable impacts on people’s lives.

"Symptoms were missed, and now thousands of families are missing their loved ones.

"If detected earlier, many pancreatic cancer sufferers could survive - but it all starts with education.

"There are over 5,000 GPs in Scotland and we need every GP across the country to complete our training on pancreatic cancer if we have any hope of improving the bleak statistics of pancreatic cancer survival and life beyond diagnosis.”

To read more about PCA’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month campaign #MISSED, click here.